I think that one of the most important keys to maintaining your sanity as a homeschooling mom is to have a third-party sounding board or two. I call it Tool #3 because I think the only two tools that are more important are to be absolutely committed to it yourself and to have your spouse on board and 100% supportive.
Meet my sounding boards:
These are my go-to girls on my left and right. C & C. They offer wisdom, experience, and a fresh perspective. All of which were needed last night. We hit Mimi’s Cafe for hot chocolate and apple crisp and batted ideas around and swapped curriculum helps and marveled that we are even doing this at all. But what I needed most from the evening (and found) was their ability to take me by the figurative shoulders, pull me back, and show me that things are waaaaaayyy better than they appear myopically.
I needed that. Thanks, girls.
The simple question “Why?” pulled me up short this week.
Here’s the context.
We’ve spent the morning up to our elbows in an art project. The kids are now on an art kick and have gotten their drawing easels out. Chaos is reigning and Mom is trying to keep up with everyone, prevent unnecessary messes, and put necessary fires out. “No, don’t do that,” or some variation on the theme is frequently issuing forth from my lips.
We’ve hit a lull. I’m on the floor with somebody piled on my lap. As we chat and watch those still interested tackle the art easels with chalk or markers, I look up to see Samuel coloring all over a piece of chalk with a colored pencil.
“Samuel! Don’t color on the chalk!”
Enter stunned moment. Usually I’m pretty good about coming up with ludicrous answers on the spot but I sure didn’t have one good reason why he shouldn’t color on the chalk. So I said,
“Never mind. Go ahead and color on the chalk.”
How did I get here? To this spot where “No” flies out of my mouth like a knee-jerk reaction?
I mentally flogged myself all that afternoon.
It probably wasn’t chance that I heard echoes of advice I was given at a baby shower for Henry run through my mind that night as I brushed my teeth:
“Say ‘Yes’ as often as you can and save ‘No’ for the times when it really matters.”